Construction recylcing rises sharply in NC

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A combination of improvements in local recycling programs, recycling policies  and the development of a strong private infrastructure has led the recycling  and composting to rise sharply in North Carolina, according to Waste Management World.

According to a recent study, published by the state’s  Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), over 15,000 North  Carolinians are now employed in the recycling industry, recycling hundreds of  thousands of tones of materials such as construction waste and plastic bottles.

One of the key reasons cited for the increase is rise in the number of households receiving curbside recycling collection to a record high of 1.62  million.

The study further claims that more recyclable commodities are  moving away from the waste stream and into the stream of commerce. The rise is  in part attributed to a rising number of recycling programs, such those to  recycle carpet and shingles now can be recycled in locations across the  state.

According to the DENR, a combination of effective policies, active  recycling business growth, expansion of items that are recyclable, and momentum  in local government recycling programs has helped to reduce dependence  on landfill and to provide commodities to North Carolina material processors and  manufacturers.

The study’s major findings include:

*Local government recycling programs have built a solid track record of capturing recyclable commodities from the waste stream and have recently begun a  new period of expansion.

*Recent policy measures designed to divert recyclable commodities from  landfills are showing strong signs of success.

*The state’s plastic bottle  recycling rate has increased by almost 50% since the disposal ban was passed in  2005.

*Recycling is steadily contributing to job creation and business growth in  North Carolina, while providing valuable materials to in-state processors and
manufacturers.

*Even as the construction economy struggles in North Carolina, private  construction and demolition facilities are increasing their recycling efforts.

*An all-time high of 112,315 tons (102,000 tonnes) of construction waste at  private facilities was recycled in 2010.

*Composting is an active area of recycling expansion and can be expected to  contribute increasingly to the state’s waste reduction efforts. Commercial  composters processed more than 220,000 tons (200,000 tonnes) of organic  materials in 2010.

*Additional materials are becoming recyclable as collectors, processors and  end-users boost their appetite for a wider range of recovered products and  commodities.

“The opportunities continue to present themselves to make  recycling both a core environmental and economic policy of the state,” said DENR  Secretary Dee Freeman. “It is a proven green job and green business creator and  it delivers a wide range of environmental benefits. We can expect more growth  ahead in the recovery of key commodities.”

However, despite the momentum achieved in the past few years, the ENR  warns of challenges ahead, specifically  improving the market value for materials such as construction wastes, and  expanding the capture of organic materials for composting and energy  generation.  Read More.

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